J.J. Abrams reveals what drew him back to the Star Wars universe to call the shots on the upcoming Episode IX. While The Last Jedi has yet to hit cinemas and dominate the Christmas box office, excited fans are already looking forward to the sequel trilogy finale, which premieres in 2019.
Star Wars directors may not have to topple an evil emperor or take down a giant Death Star, but that hasn't stopped the Skywalker sequel trilogy from having its own behind-the-scenes drama. With Colin Trevorrow stepping down from Episode IX in September, it was up to The Force Awakens director to steady the course of the Millennium Falcon and sign up for another movie.
Rolling Stone ran a feature on 14 things they learned about The Last Jedi, and top of the list was what persuaded Abrams back for Episode IX. Speaking about his return to the galaxy far, far away, Abrams said the opportunity was just too good to pass up on:
"I had no intention to return. But when the opportunity presented itself to finish a story that we had begun with these new characters, to tell the last chapter of their story, it felt like there was a chance to do it in a way where we could go beyond, and do better than we did in Seven."
Although The Force Awakens is universally held as a pretty great film and up there with the best of the Star Wars movies, Abrams seems like Episode IX can be even better. Ready to tackle the third installment in the trilogy, it means he can bring a thrilling conclusion to the story he started a couple of years ago:
"I learned so much in that movie and I saw that this was a chance to sort of realize something that we hadn't quite achieved – and part of that was it was simply the beginning of these new characters and their story. The opportunity to sort of take what we had learned, to take the feeling of who these characters are and what they are and give them a final chapter that felt in the spirit of what we begun? It was too delicious of an opportunity to pass up."
Given that Abrams had a huge hand in bringing the likes of Rey, Finn, and Poe into that ever-expanding universe, there is a sense of poetic justice that he also gets to round off their stories in 2019. Also, with the latest script being co-written by Abrams and Chris Terrio, note that he was effectively going back to the series blind, under the hope that he could make it work.
As for Abrams' return, it wasn't just The Force Awakens fans who were pleased. The article also says that a tearful Daisy Ridley couldn't hold back her emotions when she heard Abrams would be back. With Trevorrow's work on the likes of Jurassic World, he would've undoubtedly been able to put his own stamp on the ongoing battle between the First Order and the Resistance, but who better to close the book on this chapter than the man who started writing it in the first place?
While Episode IX sadly won't include the late Carrie Fisher and other details are still thin on the ground, we do know Lucasfilm will reunite Abrams with several of his Force Awakens stars, including Ridley, John Boyega, and Oscar Isaac. Since that proved to be a formidable combination the first time around, chances are they'll be able to work magic again in Episode IX.
Source: Rolling Stone
- Star Wars 8/Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) release date: Dec 15, 2017
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018